WASHINGTON, D.C. — During its special session on Monday, the Texas state Senate released its proposed U.S. congressional map, a week after issuing its state Senate map. The Lone Star State gained two new congressional seats in the latest census, which were added in Austin and Houston on the new map. Notably, 95% of Texas’ growth is attributed to communities of color. The new maps will still maintain the state’s Republican advantage in Washington.
The Republican-controlled Legislature likely drew the map with some intention to protect GOP incumbents, as the state has very few competitive districts. A small number of overlapping districts were drawn, pitting incumbents against each other in the next election cycle. Additionally, the map creates safer Democratic districts for Reps. Colin Allred (D) and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D), who flipped their districts in Houston and Dallas in 2018. But by lumping Democratic voters together in a practice called “packing,” the GOP-created map can actually help Republican candidates in neighboring districts by removing Democratic voters. Notably, early analysis suggests that there is no new majority-Latino district on the map even though the state’s Latino population has reached the same size as its white population. The map may face alterations before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for final approval.